Skip to content

Geoffrey Hawtin

Geoffrey Hawtin

Geoffrey Hawtin is an agricultural scientist and manager with expertise in agrobiodiversity, genetic resources, plant breeding, and research management. He has headed two CGIAR Centres: Bioversity International (then IPGRI - the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) in Rome from 1991 to 2003 and the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) in Colombia from 2008 to 2009. While at IPGRI, he led the creation of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and was its first CEO from 2003 to 2005. He has also served as Director of the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences Division of the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, and was Deputy Director General of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria. 

Geoff has served on several Boards of Trustees, including those of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Bioversity International, and Rome, and has chaired the Boards of CATIE, Costa Rica, CIAT, Colombia, and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT. He has MA and Ph.D. degrees from Cambridge University is a “correspondant étranger” of the Académie d’Agriculture of France, and has been awarded the Frank Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources by the Crop Science Society of America. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE by the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II for “services to global agrobiodiversity conservation, subsistence livelihood enhancement and sustainable food programmes”. 

In 2024, he and Cary Fowler (also a previous Executive Director of the Crop Trust) were awarded the World Food Prize “for their extraordinary leadership in preserving and protecting the world's heritage of crop biodiversity and mobilizing this critical resource to defend against threats to global food security.”

Scroll to top